Three-time Jeopardy champion Yogesh Raut has called the show racist and a “glorified reality show.”
By Zack Zagranis | Published 6 mins ago
Three-time Jeopardy champion Yogesh Raut has been stirring up controversy online by criticizing the fan-favorite game show on Facebook alongside comments about Racism in society. According to Fox News, Raut expressed his feelings that Jeopardy wasn’t a very good quiz show and was called arrogant by several fans of the program. This caused Raut to bring race into the equation: “Racism doesn’t always look like a tiki torch held aloft or a swastika on an armband. Sometimes it looks like a double standard in defining ‘arrogance’ or other undesirable qualities.”
Raut, a resident of Vancouver, Washington, initially took to social media to challenge the notion that Jeopardy is a measure of skill. Instead, Yogesh bashed the popular game show for caring more about how “telegenic” its contestants are than their level of intelligence. Raut’s original point appeared to be that while Jeopardy is an OK show–good even–it doesn’t deserve the spot at the top of the pop culture heap that it currently occupies.
The self-identifying member of the quizzing community won over $96,000 on Jeopardy but didn’t consider his string of wins much of an achievement. Yogesh compared winning Jeopardy to winning several chess tournaments by beating nothing but novice players. This comparison led to Raut being labeled a “poor sport” and “arrogant” online.
Raut also referred to the almost 60-year-old television institution as a “glorified reality show” and went on to stress that his problems with the quiz culture in America ran deeper than just a beef with Jeopardy. According to Raut, “We live in a racist society.”
This isn’t the first time the famous game show and racism have been discussed in the same conversation. In 2021 three-time Jeopardy winner Kelly Donohue was accused of making a racist hand gesture on the show. Donohue denied any wrongdoing and chalked the whole controversy up to a misunderstanding. Then there was Mike Richards.
Richards was named permanent host of Jeopardy for a hot minute in 2021, only to be stripped of the job just over a week after taking it. Richards was removed after several sexist, racist, and anti-Semitic remarks the would-be host made on his podcast came to light. Those are just a few incidents out of the many that have occurred over Jeopardy’s 59 years on television.
What separates Raut’s comments from all the previous controversies is the champion’s mention of Racism as a systemic societal problem that affects everything, including Jeopardy, rather than an incident directly related to the show. Whether Raut’s rants are sincere or just a way to stay in the spotlight a little longer is up for debate.
It’s worth noting, however, that the former contestant did make reference to Andy Warhol’s famous quote about everyone being famous for 15 minutes in his last Facebook post. Is such an obvious nod to fame an admission that Yogesh is manufacturing outrage for attention? It could certainly be interpreted as such, but Raut’s true intentions are ultimately up to anyone following the controversy to decide for themselves.